NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The self-proclaimed mastermind of the devastating 9/11 attacks on America will be tried before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond With 9/11 Pilot’s Widow Debra Burlingame

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond With Reaction From Community Board 1’s Julie Menin

The location of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial has been the subject of intense debate. Many New Yorkers wanted him brought to justice here, where his deadly plot left its greatest mark. However, concerns about security – and costs – prompted many to argue Mohammed should be tried elsewhere.

The decision will save the city an estimated $1 billion — $200 million a year for each of the five years the trial and court proceedings were expected to take, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb: Mayor Bloomberg Happy NYC Will Be Spared the Expense

Holder originally proposed trying Mohammed and four alleged accomplices at federal court in lower Manhattan. That prompted a chorus of disapproval from numerous officials, including then Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Long Island Congressman Peter King. The pushback prompted a lengthy review of the venue and mechanism of the trial.

“We simply cannot allow a trial to be delayed any longer for the victims of the 9/11 attacks or for their family members who have waited for nearly a decade for justice,” Holder said as he announced the decision.

“I have talked to these family members on many occasions over the last two years, like many Americans they differ on where the 9/11 conspirators should be prosecuted but there is one thing on which they all agree – we must bring the conspirators to justice,” he added.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports: Bloomberg welcomes Holder’s decision to hold the trials outside of New York City

The news has some New Yorkers breathing a sigh of relief.

“I work over here…I don’t want any more craziness,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

However, not all New Yorkers shared the sentiment and believe that justice should be served in the city.

“I think the government is bowing to political pressure,” Kevin O’Connell said. “I was here on 9/11.  If people are responsible for that, they should be tried here.”

Other city residents worried less about the location of the trial and were more concerned about the outcome.

“More important thing is that he gets a fair trial,” Gary Lesser said.

Another man suggested he believed that a fair trial for Mohammed was just an illusion.

“In the United States, there’s duel justice for everybody. It’s a paradox of justice here,” he said.

Bloomberg, on Monday, welcomed the decision to try the suspects in a military tribunal.

“I’ve always thought that’s more appropriate,” Bloomberg said. “While we would’ve provided the security if we had to here in New York City, being spared the expense is good for us.”

“I have always said that the perpetrators of this horrible crime should get the ultimate penalty, and I believe this proposal by the administration can make that happen.” Sen. Charles Schumer said in a statement.

“For the victims of these heinous attacks and for their families that justice is long overdue and it must not be delayed any longer,” Holder said.

Jim Riches, who lost his firefighter son on 9/11, said he would like to see the trial move forward quickly.

“They killed my son here. My son’s body was buried under the rubble here. Let them come back and face it where they killed him. But…I want a trial now. It’s just been delayed so long,” Riches said.

Even though Holder reversed his position on the trials of Muhammad and four other conspirators, he defended the role of the federal court system in prosecuting terrorists.

“There is no other tool that has demonstrated the ability to both incapacitate terrorists and collect intelligence from them over such a diverse range of circumstances as our traditional justice system,” Holder said.  “Our national security demands that we continue to prosecute terrorists in federal courts and we will do so.”

The Attorney General expressed some mixed feelings about not holding the trial in his hometown.

“I grew up in New York City, I grew up in Queens, I went to school in Manhattan for high school, for college for law school it is still a place I consider home,” Holder said. “I have full confidence in the ability of the people of New York, the authorities of New York to try this case safely and securely in New York City. If I didn’t have that faith I would not have made that initial determination, it is still my view that that case could’ve been tried in Manhattan.”

When he ran for president, Barack Obama argued that the 9/11 conspirators should be tried in civilian court. The decision to try Mohammed and four others before a military commission marks a reversal of that position.

Mohammed’s four alleged co-conspirators are Waleed bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi.

What do you think of the decision? Good one or bad call? Sound off in our comments section.

Comments (24)
  1. megaresistance says:

    your comment and name is very angry and sounds like your a violent person…..looks like the media and government have done a great job brainwashing you into thinking all muslims are bad, while doing that they made you and many other sheeple full of anger and violence towards muslims….you better wake up…..Al qaeda is a CIA creation from the 70’s to fight the russians in afganistan and is now being used as a tool for the new word order (one world government) …. 98% of all terrorism that happens in America and around the world is manufactured by CIA trained low IQ patsy terrorist..

  2. megaresistance says:

    Khalid sheikh Mohammaded 9/11 mastermind my a**…..I thought osama bin laden was?, oh wait he was just a CIA operative in the 80’s 90’s to fight the russians in afganistan… Yes there is real terrorist in this world…..BUT these supposed terrorist from 9/11 and every attack in the USA eversince are just radicalized low IQ patsy terrorist used to take our rights away in the name of security to build a nazi styled police state in America for the upcoming planned dollar/economic collapse that will lead to martial law than Tyrannical world government will be induced anyone against the new world order will be arrested and put into the already made rex 84 fema concentration camps that are in every state ….Al qaeda is a CIA creation from the late 70’s this is a fact and the government admits it, but main steam media never talks about it… Al qaeda is CIA new world order’s main terror tool..

  3. HARLEM GOING H.A.M. says:


  4. HARLEM GOING H.A.M. says:


  5. Carla Jen McCarthy says:

    Try him somewhere else! If they try him here, not only will there be danger for him there will be danger for us…. Again! His people will find out what we are doing to him and attack us again. Just think about it. It might not be New York this time, it could be Chicago or somewhere in California with big buildings. So that’s why we try him somewhere else!

  6. KPMc says:

    Hey.. what ever happened to that campaign promise and executive order signed a day after the President took office that was supposed to close Gitmo within a year?

    It’s funny how when one man was president people were up in arms by the very idea of a Guantanamo Bay US military base. Now… the same people don’t have too much of an objection and we are using the facility for a high profile tribunal.

    Hypocrites, all!

  7. Stephen M. St. John says:

    Arabs were framed for the heinous crimes of 9/11. The US Department of Justice used a demonstrably bogus 9/11 “Dulles Airport” surveillance video to fool a jury in the Moussaoui trial in Virginia in 2006. For proof see

  8. Steven says:

    A billion dollars? To convict this innocent looking arab? No wonder why we are in recession.

  9. Lester says:

    Good decision. Military firing squad is what I would like to see. This should be on Youtube. Everyone should see the execution of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. A wood coffin should be beside him. They should lift his lifeless body into it and bury him beside Gitmo. Insanity over, except views expressed by pacifists.

  10. Auburn Dale says:

    Does anybody else think he resembles Ron Jeremy (the porn star)?

    1. Steven says:

      Yeah! I saw him at the Citi bank in flushing 20th ave.

  11. R says:

    They should just hang him.

    1. Auburn Dale says:

      That sounds okay at first, except that it reduces US to the same level as the terrorists, which really doesn’t sit well with me. I’d rather take the moral high road and show the world that Americans are better than the terrorists. (We are, aren’t we?)

  12. Brian Branco says:

    He is the self-proclaimed mastermind of 9/11, so why even waste money on a trial.

    Lets waterboard him and keep him in solitary until 1 WTC is at 1776 feet high. Then we can take him to the top of the building and push him off.

    Isnt it an eye for an eye? Let him experience what it felt like for these poor people.

  13. Bill B says:

    Sounds like Obama and Holder are sayin George Bush was right. Guantanamo is still open…Gues Bush was right about that also!

  14. Mr Sam says:

    I would have preferred he be tried in a civilian court. Trying him in a military tribunal elevates him and his terrorists comrades to the status of soldier. These animals are not soldiers, they are terrorists who rejoice in collateral casualties not try to avoid them. Killing civilians is a goal not an aberration. I am a vet and I resent terrorists being treated as warriors.

  15. Marty Kaplan says:

    A lot of time has been wasted. If the shoe was on the other foot someone would be beheaded months ago

  16. DR. MENGLE,GOT TWINS? says:

    shake yer boody muhammerhead..a face only a mudda with a berk a on would luv..

  17. yamama says:

    Everytime I think of 9/11 I am so disgusted with our Government and mostly the corporations that are vying to control and own it. The companies tied to 9/11 are trully the worlds enemy and their corporate officials should be nixed from the planet. Nahh mean???

  18. Pest says:

    The highest echelons of society are full of Sh… They can’t be trusted and they should all be hung and shot in the face 5 times. LOLZY.

  19. Pest says:

    I’m still amazed with all truth that came out about 9/11 that we’re still buying into this garbage dump of iles and the Evil media empire that facilitates this gloomy BS. 9/11 was perpetrated by the GDAM Freemasons. They’re the enemy inside our gates.

  20. Judy says:

    One interesting point: In civilian trials, you’re considered innocent until proven guilty. In military trials it’s just the opposite!!

  21. niklu52 says:

    How could you not love that face?

Leave a Reply